What is a Crucial Conversation? And who cares.
Conversation is a day to day talk we do with each other but there are days when these small conversations turn into a touchy issue and have a huge impact on our lives. We called them “crucial conversations”.
As we know the importance of crucial conversations. We often back away, Why? We fear we will make the matter worse. In the time of crucial conversation, we do one of three things: We can avoid them, we can face them and handle them poorly, or we can face them and handle them well.
However, in crucial conversation, we are at our worst behavior. First, we say things later we regret. Actually, we designed wrong, as the conversation turns into a touchy issue our emotion prepares us to fight.
Why this happened? As two tiny organs seated upon your kidney, pump adrenaline into your bloodstream. Then, the larger muscles of your body (arms and legs) get more blood in comparison to the brain. Therefore, the brain gets less blood. This reduces the ability to make quality decisions. Now in the preceding chapters, you will learn how to tackle crucial conversation.
Mastering Crucial Conversations:
The Power of Dialogue.
The dialog is a process of forming the pool of information in which every member can contribute their thoughts and feelings. In this step, we are not concerned about what other person is saying, but the goal is to help others to put out the thoughts that he is holding in their mind.
Start with playing safe, otherwise, you peer end up in the debate. Construct the environment so that he/she can form of the pool of information. The purpose of creating the environment, so that others can freely and easily share their view, thoughts, and opinion. Even when their opinion sounds controversial.
Start with Heart:
How to Stay Focused on What You Really Want.
To deal with a crucial conversation. We must control our emotions and ask “What we want from this?” In most cases, when others describe their opposite opinion, we lost temper and start arguing.
Whisper in our head “What I want from this?” influence our overall personality. Then, our body sends sufficient blood to the parts of the brain that helps to solve complex problems. During a conversation on a hot issue, the level of adrenaline increases and we lost the ability to make the quality decision. As the part of brian, that responsible for decision making gets less blood and it affects our decision-making ability.
The habit of the successful communicator is that they were stuck with end goals. They know what they want, therefore, they do not make fool’s choice.
Asking what we really want help our brain to keep on focus on our end goal and helps us to stop worry about distraction.
Learn to Look:
How to Notice When Safety Is at Risk.
The Tools that help you to check the safety of a conversation. The first step is to observe the content of the conversation (the topic you are taking ) and the second is to check how people were reacting.
Train your brain to see when the conversation turns crucial, for some people their eye gets dried, for other their stomach gets tight or emotions reaches their peak. Everyone has a different sign, what is your sign? These are the signs that indicate to step back and build safety. If you unable to build safety then your peer will end up in silence or violence.
In the time of touchy conversations, our emotion starts boiling up and when we do not feel safe in a conversation, the key function so the brain starts shutting down. Your emotion prepares you for a fight.
Make It Safe:
How to Make It Safe to Talk about Almost Anything.
So far now we have talked about, build safety first, in this chapter we will learn how to build safety. To prevent conversation to turn into a crucial conversation, you have to start with this three area apologize( when you said something wrongs), contrast( point out what you do not like ), and creating a mutual purpose.
The mutual purpose is not a technique that works to your own benefit. Instead, it is a way to provide an outcome that works in both favors. There to two ways to build safety. The first step is to find a mutual purpose and the second step is to build mutual respect. Safety helps your peer to talk about anything.
The best at dialog use four skills to build mutual purpose. You can too become master of dialog after learning these skills. Here is the step-by-step procedure to create a mutual purpose. The four skills can learn with the acronym of CRIB: “commit to seek mutual purpose, recognize the purpose behind the strategy, invent a mutual purpose, and brainstorm new strategies.”
Do not forget to respect others emotions and feelings. You must have respect the person you are talking to; Otherwise, the mutual purpose will take a back seat and you end up in a debate.
Master My Stories
How to Stay in Dialogue When You are Angry, Scared, or Hurt.
Example: Consider a presentation in which Maria with her colleague Louis delivering the presentation, turning its slide and explains its content. In the meantime, Louis was standing the other side of the stage waiting for his turn and Maria giving the presentation. After a few minutes later, Maria hold for a second to take a breath, Louis took the presentation and start delivering it and delivered almost 95% of the presentation.
Maria still standing another side of the stage and furious about Louis behavior. In the end, when Maria got his chances, there is nothing left to say.
Maria started feeling dishonest and angry. So she decided, she will not talk to Louis(taking a cheap shot).
Now in the example Maria taking the cheap shot. She thoughts, it is the valid response, she can take but she does not realize that it was not her actions. It is the action taken by her emotions.
Successful communicator knows if they do not control their emotion. Their emotions control them and the matter gets worse.
In this case, Maria sees the story that Louis describe all the points in the presentation. So he gets an opportunity to meet the boss privately. She tells the story in her mind that Louis dishonors her. This story generates emotion, through this, she took the decision(not talking to Louis). The decision was based on her emotion. In these circumstances, you can act in two way either silence or violence.
You have the ability to tell a different story. You can control the story by re-thinking or re-telling them. This helps you to master your emotions and master your crucial conversation.
It is your stories that derive your action. You can retrace your path and build safety from the beginning. The first step is to stop doing ‘what you are doing’ and then determine ‘why you are doing that’. Through this, you will reach the starting point where you distract from the conversation.
Analysis your story. It helps you to determine which story you have been playing in your mind that cause you to generate emotions. State My Path:
How to Speak Persuasively, Not Abrasively.
Five tools that help you to manage the touchy conversation in a better way.
- Share your facts.
- Tell your story.
- Ask for others path.
- Talk tentatively.
- Encourage testing.
The starting three points help you to describe “what to do” and the last two describe “how to do it”.
Share your facts: Facts aid you to start with the safe side of a conversation. If you do not know the fact, take the time to gather facts. As it is the homework need to do before starting a crucial conversation. Do not just stick with the facts. After gathering all the fact, dress up your facts and convert them in a story, so it does not sound like hard facts. You should provide a path from beginning to the end of a conversation so that others may see an issue from your point of view.
Tell your story: When you begin to tell your story(facts), in the meanwhile, you should also check for the safety. You must ensure that the safety of the conversation will not deteriorate. To do that, use contrasting, just blaming another person is not the solution. Contrasting to point out what you like and what you do not.
Ask for other paths: At the end of this step, you will know ‘how to do’, till now you have learned ‘what to do’. If the above two steps did not work perfectly then you should implement the third-step. To do this, you have to encourage your partner to express her feeling, thoughts, and stories. Listen carefully even when the stories were controversial, through this you can add the information in the pool.
Ten tentatively: It is a process of saying our facts in the form of a story rather than hard facts. As it is difficult for a mind to digest hard facts.
Encourage testing: Encourage another person to share their story so that he/she can add meaning in the pool. Make them feel safe so that they can add their story to the pool of information.
It matters how you invite another person to share their feelings and thoughts. Develop a genuine interest that seems you are interested in her talk. You should not only invite her but also in such a way that makes her feel you really want to listen her views and feelings.
Explore Others’ Paths:
How to Listen When Others Blow Up or Clam Up.
Four tools that boost your listening skills. You can remember this with an acronym (AMPP) ask, mirror, paragraphs, and prime. The best part of this tool is, it encourages your speaker to speak even when your speaker is in silence mode or violence mode.
The first step simply asks you peer to share his viewpoint. Now the second step is mirroring.
Mirroring suits where the emotions and body posture are not competing with each other. Mirroring is a technique of listening to other stories with respect to their emotion.
Paraphrase: Asking and mirroring help you to pour out others personal feelings and thoughts, but when you got the idea what another person is feeling used paraphrasing. Paraphrasing aid you to build additional safety. Paraphrase your peer emotion and feelings but do not use exact word of your peer. Be careful just not to repeat what other is saying.
Priming is used when the peer still is in silence or violence mode. In this case, you should go for priming. Priming is a technique to offer your best guess of the situation so that another person opens up.
If what happens? after applying (AAMP) other person open up and start sharing their views. But, if you did not agree with their stories. At this moment, you should go for ABC (Agree, build, and compare).
Sometimes, it is not necessary that both the person have the same point of view. Instead of blaming and saying you are wrong. You should say “I think I see things differently” and share our path via ABC skills.
Agree: if you agree with the other person point of view. That’s ok, but if not deny it politely.
Build: If you did not agree clearly point out where you agree and where you do not.
Compare: When two of you see things differently. Do not say, you are wrong, simply compare your views.
Move to Action:
How to Turn Crucial Conversations into Action and Results.
The best decision is made by turning the final choice to others. Especially the people that influence with the outcome. Here are the four tools that help you to make a quality decision.
Consult: Invite others people so that they can add their thought in the pool before making the final decision.
Voted: as the name suggests. It is used to find a better answer in two or more alternative.
Consensus: It is a bit of frustrating process as it takes everyone opinion for making the last decision.
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